Monday, August 23, 2010

Book Review: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

I just finished reading the 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' trilogy and am completely rung out. First of all let me say that the last two books are not nearly as graphic as the first one, so those of you who enjoyed the characters but hated the violence of book 1 might want to go ahead try book two....after which you are compelled to read the final book because the second one doesn't really end. It just stops long enough for you to go out find the next one. I enjoyed the complicated swirl of action of all three, layers of espionage and all that, and I had never known anything at all about Swedish government, culture or history so it was good to begin to feel at home with place names and a bit of the current culture of the place. Now that I am finished with them, my big questions are: 1. Are there indeed people who are so computer savvy that they can do all that sneaking around on the Internet and get past all the firewalls and encryptions ever invented and steal everything you ever said, thought or looked at right off your hard drive? Oh yeah. 2. Are there indeed people who can bug your house, phone, car, office, and clothing so that you have no privacy at all? Probably. Drat. 3. Are the bad guys so devoid of souls that the lives of other people are meaningless to them and they will kill, rape, torture and abuse anyone for money? Sigh. Sad face. 4. Are these fiction books or based on some whiff of truth? And is that why the author died shortly after submitting the manuscripts? (Sounds eerily like the Kalle ******* Blomkvist in the books if you ask me.) If I had ever wanted to go to Sweden (never really thought about it to tell you the truth) I don't wish to go there now. Nope. I do like the way the language looks on the page though...all those tiny circles, dots and slashes here and there. Very cute. Unfortunately, since I have no clue what all those symbols mean, I can't say any of the character's names in my head; I can only read and recognize them....except for Erika ******* Berger; I do fairly well with that one. The books seem to bog down a bit in the middle, way too many details about the workings of Parliament, (which is what made me think they were based on some sort of real events) but you can skim past all that if you get tired of it. In short, if you like intrigue and rooting for the good guys winning against all odds, and coming to embrace the idea that everyone is different and carries the scars from their own journeys, you will enjoy these books by Swedish Author, Stieg Larson. They read easily but are neither short nor simple books. You might want to take notes in the beginning so you can keep the people straight in your head. It was interesting that this morning on the news they had pictures of the Swede who had published tons of top secret stuff on the Internet and isn't at all sorry about it (what is it with these guys? That is just dumb and dangerous). He and the woman who was with him looked very familiar to my mind's eye so I guess I had the body/face type right for 'Swedish' after all.

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